Bay Journal

Chesapeake Notebook

News, notes and observations from the Bay Journal staff.

Join the discussion about growth and the Bay Jan. 13-14; register now

We’ve all seen it: The patch of woods lost for a new house, a meadow plowed under to help feed a growing population, the bottom of a once-clear stream filled with silt which turns the water muddy every time it rains.

Karl Blankenship

Gov. McAuliffe selected to head Chesapeake Executive Council

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has been selected to chair the Chesapeake Executive Council, the policy-making panel that guides Bay restoration efforts.

Karl Blankenship
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Holland Island: one photo tells a tale

For Come High Water, the sea-level rise package that Bay Journal staff produced with Maryland Sea Grant’s Chesapeake Quarterly, four reporters fanned out across Maryland and Virginia to tell the story of rising waters. With the help of our editors, our layout artists and graphics guru Sandy Rogers, we produced more than a dozen stories about rising waters. Those stories include interviews with top scientists studying the problem, with residents living it, and with planners trying to mitigate it. It was a huge undertaking.

But to me, none of the words tell the story as well as the photograph above.

It is Bay Journal staff photographer Dave Harp’s picture of Holland Island, taken in 2009. But it is more than that. It is a window into a struggle of man vs. nature - a struggle nature will win, even if man hasn’t accepted it yet. It is a testimony to the powers of the sea, of the Chesapeake Bay, and of the respect we must give it in the decisions we make on the land.

Rona Kobell

Picture This

Tips from veteran Chesapeake Bay photographer Dave Harp about how to capture the perfect images from your outdoor travels.

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Pond paddle provides lovely setting for photos

I always try to get out and make some photos on the solstices and equinoxes,  and an assignment to illustrate a story about Trap Pond allowed me to chase the morning light there a few hours after this year’s Autumnal equinox.   It’s an amazingly beautiful patch of wild Delaware near Laurel and will be featured in the November issue of the Bay Journal.   The pond, created in the 18th century to power a saw mill to convert the trees into board feet of lumber,  is the epicenter of the northern most stand of bald cypress trees in the United States.   The relatively young trees in the middle of the pond were planted in the 1930’s when the water level  was drawn down to allow the trees to grow.    Once they’re heads are above the water they seem to do fine in an aquatic environment.  Be sure to look for a more complete story about Trap Pond State Park by Tom Horton in the November issue of the Bay Journal.

David Harp
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Order of Chaos

Photographers go to great lengths to make order out of chaos. A good photograph has a strong point of view, clean lines, generally good composition. In this case chaos IS the point. Anyone who has ever witnessed a flock of snow geese erupt into flight knows that the sight and sounds of those birds says chaos to the extreme.    This flock was photographed with a 200mm lens, 2x tele extender, Olympus E-5 camera, 1250/sec. @ f5.6. ISO 200. The scene was made at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge just after sunrise, thin cloud cover.

David Harp
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January morning along the Choptank River

It was a very cold pre dawn January morning along the Choptank River.   Out to capture some winter scenes (since we didn't really have winter last year). I found this ice encrusted plant and made a photo in the early morning light.    Wanting more drama in the photo I waited until the rising sun barely kissed it and made another exposure. Sometimes is pays to wait for the light.Both photographs were made with an Olympus E-5, 12-60mm lens at 21mm.  

David Harp

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